Weapons Complex Monitor Vol. 31 No. 04
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January 24, 2020

Hanford Central Plateau Contract Award Draws Protest

By Wayne Barber

A Bechtel-led joint venture filed a protest Tuesday with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the December award of a potential 10-year, $10-billion cleanup contract at the Hanford Site in Washington state.

The Project W Restoration partnership is headed by Bechtel National, and the other members are Tetra Tech and EnergySolutions, an industry source said Wednesday.

The notice on the GAO website does not provide details on the protest, but sets an April 30 deadline for a decision.

Contract recipient Central Plateau Cleanup Co. is a team comprised of AECOM, Fluor, and Atkins. A GAO bid protest typical holds up any Energy Department notice to proceed, a source said Thursday.

The new Central Plateau contract includes ensuring safe operations for the Hanford Richland Operations Office, deactivation and demolition of facilities at the former plutonium production complex, remediation of waste sites, preventing contamination of the Columbia River, and preparing documents for regulators such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The winner will perform task orders issued off the master indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.

The current $6.4 billion contract, which dates to October 2008, is held by Jacobs subsidiary CH2M, now working under a one-year extension that could keep it around through September. A clause in the existing deal allows the government to end the CH2M contract following a 60-day transition period.

Jacobs is also believed to lead the third venture in the Central Plateau bidding, and it had not filed a bid protest as of Thursday evening. Debriefs on the Central Plateau contract took place last week in Richland, Wash., and companies typically have five days from the debrief to file a protest.

Both contracts awarded last month for operations at Hanford are now the subject of bid protests.

A group led by Huntington Ingalls Industries on Jan. 13 protested the potential 10-year, $4 billion support services contract awarded Dec. 5 to a team of Leidos, Centerra, and Parsons. Leidos is also the lead partner in the incumbent Mission Support Alliance team providing security, road upkeep, information technology, and a variety of other landlord-type services at Hanford.

Both Bechtel and AECOM declined comment Thursday on the Central Plateau bid protest. The two companies are both leading players in contracting for the DOE Office of Environmental Management.

Bechtel has the $14.7 billion completion contract, which started in December 2000, to build the Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford. It is also a minority partner in the AECOM-led Savannah River Remediation group that has a $6 billion agreement, dating to July 2009, for liquid waste treatment, storage, and disposal at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. That business is scheduled to continue through September 2020.

In addition to Savannah River Remediation, AECOM is lead partner on several projects within the weapons complex – including operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico and remediation of the Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee.

AECOM is in the processing of selling its government contracting business to a joint venture of New York City-based American Securities and Lindsay Goldberg. That $2.4 billion deal is expected to close within a few weeks and the government contractor will be renamed.

Press reports recently indicated that the Los Angeles-based AECOM, which builds everything from sports stadiums to infrastructure projects, is the target of acquisition by the Canadian firm WSP Global.

Likewise, Fluor has announced its own plans to sell its government contracting business.

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